Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A trial of selumetinib and docetaxel for non small cell lung cancer (SELECT-1)
This trial was for people whose non small cell lung cancer had grown into surrounding tissues or spread elsewhere in the body. And whose lung cancer cells had a change (
More about this trial
Cancer that has grown into surrounding tissues or spread to another part of the body is called locally advanced or advanced cancer.
One of the usual treatments for advanced non small lung cancer (NSCLC) is a chemotherapy drug called docetaxel. You might have this on its own or alongside other chemotherapy drugs. But lung cancer is difficult to treat and it can continue to grow despite treatment. So researchers are looking for ways to improve treatment.
In this trial, they looked at a drug called selumetinib. It is a type of targeted cancer drug called a cancer growth blocker. It works by targeting a protein called
The researchers thought that having selumetinib with docetaxel might improve treatment for people whose lung cancer cells have a change to the KRAS gene.
In this trial, some people had docetaxel and selumetinib. And some had docetaxel and a dummy drug (
The aims of the trial were to:
- find out which treatment worked best
- learn more about the side effects.
Summary of results
The trial team found that adding selumetinib to docetaxel did not improve treatment for people with advanced non small cell lung cancer with a change in the KRAS gene.
505 people took part in this trial. Everyone had at least one treatment for advanced cancer. They were put into 1 of the following treatment groups at random.
- 251 had docetaxel and selumetinib
- 254 had docetaxel and a dummy drug
The trial team looked at the average length of time people lived without signs of their cancer getting worse. This is called progression free survival.
They found this was:
- 3.9 months in people who had docetaxel and selumetinib
- 2.4 months in people who had docetaxel and the dummy drug
They also looked at how long people lived for. This is called overall survival. On average, they found this was:
- 8.7 months in people who had docetaxel and selumetinib
- 7.9 months in people who had docetaxel and the dummy drug
People who had docetaxel and selumetinib had more problems with:
- skin rash
- swelling of the hands and feet (peripheral oedema)
- weakness or lack of energy
- shortness of breath
70 people who had docetaxel and selumetinib needed to have their dose reduced due to side effects compared with 16 who had docetaxel and the dummy drug.
The trial team concluded that in people with advanced NSCLC with a change to the KRAS gene, selumetinib and docetaxel did not work any better than docetaxel on its own.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Fiona Blackhall
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer